My all time favourite JAFF books with giveaways

An awesome list from Rita of “From Pemberley to Milton”.

I agree so much with her choices! Moreover it gives me a couple of title to be read 🙂

Please, check it out!!

From Pemberley to Milton

I have been wanting to publish a list of my favourite JAFF books for a long time, but I always felt the number of books I had read would not justify such a list. Now that my blog has celebrated 2 years, and that I’ve read over 150 JAFF stories, I think it is justifiable to share with all of you which ones are my favourite.

There are several criteria that can be used to choose the best books one has ever read, such as the originality and interest of the plot, the writing style, the pacing, the ability to captivate the reader etc, but I always said that to me, a great book is one that has the ability to make me feel something. In my opinion the best books are the ones which cause such an impression in the reader that he will never forgets how he felt…

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“Fair Stands The Wind” is finally available on Kindle!

Dear all,

I am super glad to finally tell you that you can already find the kindle version of “Fair Stands the Wind” by Catherine Lodge on Amazon:

Amazon US                   Amazon UK

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Blog Tour of “Particular Attachments” by L.L. Diamond, excerpt and giveaway

I hope all of you are very well and ready to read a bit more about another great book. Today I am pleased to present Particular Attachements by L.L. Diamond. This is the second book of her Particular Intentions Series and our protagonist is Miss Georgina Darcy.

Let me introduce you to our author, she is a very accomplished woman apart from a really good writer.

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.leslie

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include: Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, and Particular Attachments.

To follow L.L. Diamond, you can go to:

Facebook       Twitter      Goodreads      Austen Variations

Let’s enjoy the excerpt that Leslie is sharing with us 🙂

Thank you so much for having me!  It’s been so much fun sharing different parts and such about Particular Attachments with everyone. Today, I have one more excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!

 Georgiana placed her pen upon the stand, sprinkled some sand upon the page, and then, returned the coarse grit to its bowl. Bright light filtered in through the window, so she stood and stepped over to enjoy the view. The sun had already begun its path across the sky and a breeze rattled the limbs on the trees in the square. It was a brilliant blue day for December. If she were at Pemberley, she would saddle Phaethon and ride around the peaks. In weather such as this, Phae was always in high spirits, snorting and prancing about. How she adored riding on a crisp, cool day!

Well, if she could not ride, perhaps she could convince Lizzy to walk—if she was awake.

She arrived in the drawing room to no one about, but a humming reached her ears and she pivoted back and forth. Where had it come from? She followed the sound to the dining room where Mrs. Rowley ran a finger across the sideboard, looking for dust.

“Mrs. Rowley?”

“Oh!” The older lady’s hand pressed to her chest. “You gave me quite a fright, Miss Darcy. I was not aware you had left your chambers.”

“Forgive me. I had not meant to alarm you.” She glanced about the room. “I was wondering if my sister, brother, or Miss Bennet were awake?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Darcy requested trays a little over an hour ago. I believe they were to spend the morning with young Master William once they breakfasted. Miss Bennet’s maid has yet to be called to the lady’s rooms.”

Georgiana nodded. “Thank you. I shall be practicing my pianoforte should I be needed.”

“Of course, miss.”

She exited to the hall and was about to turn into the music room when a rap sounded at the door. Jobbins appeared from the servants’ corridor and with his usual calm, slow manner opened it.

“Miss Darcy!” Before Jobbins could speak, Nathaniel strode forward, took her hand, and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “I hope you will forgive my early call, but the weather begged for a canter down Rotten Row and I hoped you would join me.”

She blinked. Nathaniel was in her home. She glanced at the clock—at half nine, and he wanted to ride—with her? “I had not—I—That is, I have no mount in town. My mare remained at Pemberley and Fitzwilliam does not keep a horse for me in London since I have stayed in Derbyshire the past several years.”

“I hope you will not think me presumptuous, but I considered just such a circumstance. My mother keeps a horse in town for days like today, though after the late night at the ball, she preferred to keep London hours than ride.” He grasped her hand, led her to the drawing room where the windows overlooked the street, and pulled back the draperies. “When I mentioned the possibility last night, she offered the use of her mare.”

Her eyes darted to the street before the house where three horses stood with a girl holding the reins of each.

“Who is the girl?”

“Our stable master’s daughter. She is as proficient a rider as the grooms, and you mentioned last night of your companion visiting her family for the holiday season. Since I was uncertain whether Miss Bennet would be awake and whether she even rode, I thought a chaperon might be a prudent idea.”

“Prudent indeed.” How she wanted to join him! Had she not just longed for Phae as she admired the pleasant weather? Not to mention, the closest of the mounts was the most beautiful dapple-grey she had ever laid eyes upon.

“Which is your mother’s mare?” Her teeth scraped along her bottom lip. Be the grey! Be the grey!

His breath made the curls at her temple flutter and heated her face. “Which do you want her to be?”

She drew back and gasped. “What an impudent response!”

“You cannot deny you have a preference, else you would not think to ask,” he taunted with an impish grin.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Why will you not answer?”

He mirrored her stance, his riding crop still clutched in his hand. “Agree to accompany me, change into your habit, and I shall give you the information you seek.”

She peered out the window one more time and back to Nathaniel. “Very well. I shall return as quickly as I can.”

As she hurried up the stairs, she worried at her lip with her teeth. Was this wise? Nathaniel said they would just be friends, but was it a sensible expectation?

Lucy started when she strode into her dressing room and requested her habit, but complied with haste. With her usual efficiency, her abigail had Georgiana undressed and dressed again with her riding gloves in hand in under a quarter hour.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror. The timidity about London and being in town needed to cease! What did the opinions matter of those so wholly unconnected to her? The truth was they did not. She needed to do what she wished without regard to those who would disparage her for sport.

One last, large gulp of air was drawn into her lungs and released. If she and Nathaniel were to be friends, she would have to rid herself of this ridiculous aversion to his company. He was not the same as the boy she once knew. Of course, characteristics of the younger Nathaniel remained, but he was now an adult. He had also come to her defence in the hat shop, had he not?

When she returned to the hall, Nathaniel grinned and gave a bow. “I am pleased you would accept my invitation, milady.” He held out his arm. “Shall we?”

A laugh escaped at his antics. “Lead the way, my lord.”

As Jobbins appeared to open the door, she paused. “Should my brother or Mrs. Darcy enquire as to my whereabouts, inform them I am riding with Lord Sele.”

“We will be in Hyde Park,” offered Nathaniel.

The aged butler peered to the horses and the young lady who would accompany them. “Very good, miss.”

After the door closed behind them, Nathaniel chuckled. “Did he ensure we had someone to accompany us?”

“More than likely. Since my companion Mrs. Annesley has been visiting her family, I am usually joined by Lizzy, Lydia, or my aunt when I leave the house. I am certain Jobbins found my departing on the arm of a young man singular and cause for concern.”

“Jobbins was your butler before your mother’s death. I remember I found him rather terrifying as a young boy.”

“But he is kind and what I imagine a grandfather to be. When my governess would bring me to the kitchen for a biscuit, Jobbins would tell me the most wonderful stories. I believe he would create them as he said them aloud.”

“Ah,” replied Nathaniel, squinting a bit as a particularly gusty breeze blew in his face. “You have a perspective of him I lack. I remember the ever so tall, quiet, and imposing figure who answered the door. He also gave me a rather disapproving glare when I tried to chase after your brother on several occasions.”

“There is no running in Darcy House, did you not know?”

Nathaniel studied her for a moment out of the corner of his eye. “You are different this morning.”

“I hope the change is not unwelcome.”

He faced her and their eyes held one another until she had to fight to remain still. How she needed to fidget about, but she could not. To wiggle like a worm would be mortifying!

She held out her hand and took a step in the direction of the dapple-grey, who stretched her neck and sniffed Georgiana’s palm. Once she had deemed Georgiana worthy, she nickered and nuzzled Georgiana’s glove with her velvety muzzle.

“Do you like her?”

Her cheek prickled from his steady gaze while she pressed her palm against the star between the mare’s eyes and stroked down the length of her face. “She is stunning.”

His shoulders relaxed as he smiled. “I am glad. She is your mount for the morning.”

She gave a delighted gasp. “I had hoped. What is her name?”

“My mother named her Viola.”

He laced his fingers and held them down and palms up to help her mount. Once they were both in their saddles, and walking towards Hyde Park, she lifted her face to feel the cool breeze as Viola blew noisily from her nose and tugged at the reins.

“She must enjoy Twelfth Night to name her horse for one of the characters.”

“My parents attended a production of Twelfth Night for my mother’s birthday the evening before Viola arrived as her gift. While she does take pleasure in that particular play, I believe the name is more as a remembrance.”

When they entered the Grosvenor Gate and headed in the direction of Rotten Row, Viola began to stomp and prance about.

“She loves to run Rotten Row, and my mother tends to give her free rein. You will need to use a firm hand if you do not wish for the same.”

“Phae knows the paths at Pemberley where I prefer to test her speed. She behaves much the same as Viola is now when we approach one.”

Nathaniel’s brows drew down in the middle. “Phae?”

“Phaethon is the immortal horse of the goddess of the dawn, Eos.”

“Your brother’s horse is named from the stories of the Greeks as well, is it not?”

“Boreas is the god of the north wind who assumed the shape of a horse to pull the chariot of Zeus.”

He laughed and reined his horse back so they remained together. “While the story has Boreas pulling the King of the gods, the actual horse carries the Master of Pemberley.”

One side of her lips curved upwards. “My father was still alive when my brother named his horse. He was not yet master. We have quite a few horses with names taken from the Greeks or the Romans.”

After a peek in Nathaniel’s direction, she cued Viola to a trot. The horse had a graceful gait. Her bottom would not be terribly sore on the morrow, thank goodness.

The rhythmic plodding of Nathaniel’s horse from her side was a reminder of his presence—not that she required one. She was not far ahead of him as they neared the corner where the Route du Roi, also known as Rotten Row, began.

Despite this hour of the morning being a fashionable time to ride one’s horse on Rotten Row, few men were out with their mounts and even fewer ladies.

“I hoped most of the ton would keep to their beds this morning. Between Lord and Lady Fitzwilliam’s ball and Sir John Sutton’s masquerade, most of London was occupied until the early hours.”

She brought her mount to a canter and began riding down the path, ensuring she did not collide with the other riders. Nathaniel rode to her left, but his horse was just far enough to the rear that she could see nothing but his head if she peeked to that side. His horse stretched his neck and wore at the bit. Nathaniel was holding him back. Did he believe her to be a less than competent rider?

Without thought, she leaned forward and pressed her leg into Viola’s flank. The horse did not throw her head or object, but accelerated forward with grace until the horse could not go faster without galloping.

An exclamation came from behind as she laughed and pushed forward until she neared the end where she pulled back and turned to ride along the edge of the Serpentine. She kept Viola at a trot until Nathaniel drew alongside and then slowed her to a walk.

“You do enjoy defying convention, Georgiana Darcy.”

“I wanted to give her a good run.” She lifted her chin just a bit. “Besides, I do not require you to rein in your horse. I have no doubt Viola and I can match your pace.”

“Ladies do not typically race the gentlemen along the Row—not that I object. I enjoyed it immensely.” His slight smile widened. “I wanted to be certain you were comfortable on my mother’s horse, but I never expected my ensuring your safety from behind would wound your pride.”

Her jaw dropped. “You did not wound my pride.”

“Then why the need to prove yourself?” He trotted ahead with an altogether too smug expression on his face.

If only she could wipe it off as easily as a smudge of dirt!

“You have no response?” he taunted with his head turned back towards her. “The Miss Darcy I remember would not have allowed such a statement to go unanswered.” He stopped his horse and pivoted in his seat as he awaited her.

She brought Viola to a trot once again and gave him what was hopefully her most disdainful expression. “The Miss Darcy you knew no longer exists. I do not seek your approbation. I need no one’s approval.”

Who is that Nathaniel? Have you been in other stops of this book tour and you already know? How has she learnt to dismiss people’s approval? Why is she repeating that they are only friends as if she wanted to convince herself?

Blurb: She swore would never marry!

Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?

As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.

What is Georgiana to do when faced with the 

 

society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?

 Lydia… friend of Georgiana? What is going on? 😉 Someone from her past? OMG! nooo, more angst when it comes to our beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice.

Do you want to read this book straight away? You can do it, among other sites, here:

Amazon UK                 Amazon US                       Kobo           Barnes&Noble

The Particular Attachments Blog Tour

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Great stops in this blog tour, I cannot choose my favourite, so visit them all! 🙂

September 8: Just Jane 1813 – Review

 

September 9: Babblings of a Bookworm – Character Interview

 

September 11: From Pemberley to Milton – Excerpt

September 12: More Agreeably Engaged – Character Interview

September 13: Austenesque Reviews – Outtake

September 14: Austen Variations – Release Day Post and Giveaway

September 15: Just Jane 1813 – Character Interview

September 16: My Jane Austen Book Club – Outtake

September 17: My Vices and Weaknesses – Excerpt

 

Time to Give Away

Leslie is giving away an e-book copy of Particular Attachments to one winner. Please leave a comment or question for her with anything that you would like to know or what to say about this excerpt.

The Giveaway will be open until the 24th September at 23:59 (CET). If you want to get more entries, share with a friend and ask them to join us on the comment section. Your friend will have to say that he or she has found us through you.

Blog Tour of “D&E: Hope of the future” by Sharon Lathan, guest post + giveaway

Good morning or good afternoon or even good night for some of you! Yes, I am back after only a week 🙂 I am trying to behave and do not keep you out of the loop. That is why today I am very happy to present Sharon Lathan with her latest book Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future. It is her second book on her Prequel Saga, our loved protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy are getting married, aren’t they? …

Blurb of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future (Darcy Saga Prequel Book #2)

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!

The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers. 

Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured! 

As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is. Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity? Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result? 

Continue the journey began in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London, and be a witness at the wedding of the century.

The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.

After this blurb, can you not wait to buy the book? Print or ebook? You could buy both formats here, and also the first book of the saga Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship.

Amazon US                   Amazon UK                         Barnes & Noble Nook and Print

Kobo digital                                         iBooks digital

Apart from introducing the book and give you a “male” excerpt for you to enjoy, Sharon has done a guest post where you will find a lot of information about weddings during the Regency. I have learnt a lot, I must admit that I knew maybe half of the facts presented. I would recommend you to read this post but also visit the different posts where her book is being promoted because she has great information to share with all of us.

 

Let me introduce you to Sharon Lathan in case she may be a new author to you, although she has been written great novels for a long time now:

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, was published in 2009. Sharon’s series of “happily ever after” for the Darcys now totals nine full-length novels and one Christmas themed novella.Sharon Lathan photo

Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future complete the “prequel to the sequel” duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.

Sharon is a native Californian relocated in 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky, where she resides with her husband of over thirty years. Retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.

Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA, and serves as the website manager and on the board of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of the RWA.

Sharon is the co-creator of Austen Authors, a group blog for authors of Austenesque literary fiction. Visit at:  www.AustenAuthors.com 

Connect with Sharon at the following places:
Website/blog:  www.SharonLathanAuthor.com       Facebook at Sharon Lathan, Novelist                 Twitter @SharonLathan                     Pinterest  SharonLathan62

 

After introducing her, let’s read what Sharon is sharing with us, not only a very “funny” excerpt but also, as mentioned above, interesting information about weddings.

 

First and foremost, I must thank Ana for hosting me on her blog today. It is a pleasure to be here sharing a bit of wedding history and my latest novel with the My Vices and Weaknesses readers. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Regency Wedding Preparations

To understand wedding preparation during the Regency, you must start by erasing everything you envision as part of a modern-day wedding. English weddings prior to the Victorian Era were small, understated events. The primary purpose of the ceremony was the religious solidification of the marriage contract. For the most part, everything was approached with this serious aspect foremost.

The simplicity factor was one reason why the time between proposal to marriage could be very short. For most couples, the two weeks waiting for the three readings of the Banns was plenty of time. A longer courtship period would likely be the result of concerns such as ensuring a house to live in, financial security, and similar practicalities rather than needing time to plan the ceremony itself.

Unless a special license was procured—this was quite rare—or one was of a faith other than the Anglican Church, the wedding procedure was standardised. Couples with extreme wealth and social importance might have a glitzier arrangement and grander celebration, but never the ostentatious affairs we have today.

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Location and Timing of the Wedding:  An Anglican wedding could take place on any day of the week, but ALL weddings took place in the parish chapel where at least one of the two persons lived. Per Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, weddings were required to take place during the canonical hours of 8 AM to noon.

Since most members of the ton could claim the fashionable London districts of Mayfair, Grosvenor, and St. James as their residence, the vast majority of Regency weddings took place at Saint George’s Church in Hanover Square. Established in 1725, thousands of weddings were conducted at St. George’s—1063 in 1816 alone!

Wedding Guests:  Invitations were handwritten by the bride—if they were sent at all—and depending on her creativity, the invitation may be fancy, but more often it was a basic letter giving the facts.

It was unusual for anyone outside the immediate family and closest friends to attend the ceremony. If family members lived further away they would be notified and an invitation extended, and in special circumstances time may be allowed for travel, but this was not the expectation and no one thought it wrong if they chose not to come. The only essential attendees were the clergyman, parish clerk to ensure formal logging in the register, and two official witnesses.

Local citizens often waited outside the church, ready to cheer and congratulate the newlyweds. It was common for these folks to form a processional behind the couple, shouting well-wishes all the way back to their house.

Bride’s Attendants:  A bride was typically assisted by one or two female attendants, perhaps a few more if she was of higher society. These attendants could be married or unmarried and helped the bride in various ways—penning invitations, getting dressed, making the bouquet—and one was designated the official witness for the parish registry.

The term “bridesmaid”—or more commonly “bridemaid” without the S—was in use since the 1500s. “Maid of Honor” was akin to “lady in waiting” so more specifically referred to royal attendants. The use of “maid of honor” in relation to a bridal attendant was a late 19th century, American addition. The term “matron of honor” to specify a married attendant is an Americanism not seen until after 1900.

Groom’s Attendants: Historically, the groomsmen were “blade knights” who served as protectors of the bride and guards for the couple during their vulnerable hours preceding and following the ceremony. We see this same tradition today in military weddings where a sword wielding “honor guard” form the saber arch for the couple to walk through.

Such fears were gone by the civilised Regency. Instead, the enlisted groomsmen were close friends who lent a hand as necessary. With the ceremony being a quiet event, the groom having little to do beyond show up on time, and a bachelor party or extensive reception speech unheard of, groom attendants had minimal stated duties. The number varied, and probably was very small, but as with the bride, one man was designated as the “best man” to stand with the groom and serve as the official witness.

 

After reading this, I know that I would have been one of these local citizens waiting for Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy to leave the church together with Mr and Mrs Charles Bingley J Enjoy the excerpt of a really appealing book.

 

Excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future

By the time Darcy, Richard, and Georgiana returned to Netherfield, the Hursts and Caroline Bingley had arrived. 

“Terrific,” Darcy muttered grumpily upon espying the familiar coach in the drive. It was a sentiment of which neither Colonel Fitzwilliam nor Miss Darcy could disagree.

As per the agenda for the final days and evenings, the brides and grooms would honor tradition by not seeing each other after sundown on the eve of the wedding, meaning they would dine apart. For tonight, however, Mr. Bingley had offered to host at Netherfield. It was the sensible choice, presuming the likelihood of some of their families arriving that day. As it turned out, everyone arrived that day. It was, for all intents, a prewedding reception.

When the dust finally cleared, and the last visitor had departed with the rest retired to their guest quarters, the grooms and Richard Fitzwilliam met in Bingley’s private sitting room.

“Well, that went swimmingly, I’d say.” Richard handed a brandy to Darcy, who grunted, then took a large swallow.

“As swimmingly as in a river of piranhas.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that bad—maybe sharks, or stinging eels, but not piranha level.”

Bingley smiled at Richard’s humor but looked a bit dyspeptic and also gulped at his brandy. “We may as well accept it, Darcy. After all, we will be family in two days so these gatherings, while hopefully rare, will happen from time to time.”

Now it was Darcy’s turn to look ill.

“Does Mr. Hurst ever smile?” Richard blurted in a tone of sincere curiosity.

“Sometimes, I think.” Bingley frowned, then shrugged. “Can’t recall to be honest.”

“Huh. Well, here is to family.” Richard lifted his glass. “Got to love them, for better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer… Wait, that is for spouses. What are the rules for family again?”

“That is the real tragedy. One has no choice in the matter and is stuck with them,” Darcy grumbled.

“Yes, well, cheer up, Cousin. You have me! That is a stupendous blessing from the Almighty. And soon you shall have Bingley here. We make up for a dozen Mr. Hursts or Mrs. Bennets.”

“I suppose I will have to give you that,” Darcy admitted grudgingly, and then he laughed.

Richard joined in, but Bingley was quiet, eyes faintly troubled and a frown creasing his brows.

“What is it, Charles?”

“Was Caroline…” Bingley paused. “That is, did she do or say anything I am unaware of?”

Richard shook his head, but it was Darcy who spoke. “Surprisingly, no. In fact, I don’t think she said much at all. She sat with Mrs. Hurst the whole night. I know she never approached Elizabeth, at least when we were all together. I was watching. I think the time away did her good, truly I do. But really, what does it matter for the present? We should put all this aside and focus on what is important. The reason we are gathered here in the first place.”

“Here! Here!” Richard raised his glass, but only halfway. Staring at Darcy with a comically confused expression, he asked, “And why was that again?”

Time to Give Away

You cannot miss the great giveaway that Sharon is doing with us today. She is giving:

  • One print, signed copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future and a magnet duo of Darcy and Elizabeth from The Darcy Saga (1 winner, only US)
  • One ebook copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future for 1 international winner.

What do you need to do to participate? As usual, share your opinion with us about what you have read. What do you think about the excerpt? Did you know the info about the weddings? Were you surprised about any of it? Please comment on this post and please, write your email and specify if you are participating on the US part of the giveaway or if you are participating on the international.

This time for an extra entry, you could share this post with some friends and if a friend of yours leaves a comment and indicates that he/she has found the post through you, you get an extra entry (maximum of three friends to be counted).

The giveaway will be open the 14th of September and I would like to post the winners during the following weekend. All the entries before 12pm (CET) will be counted. Good luck!

 

Blog Tour of “Fair Stands The Wind” by Catherine Lodge, character interview + giveaway

Dear all,

I do apologise for abandoning you but I have finally settle in my new country but the new job has just started and I barely have time for much.

Today I am very happy to introduce a new writer: Catherine Lodge, an English lady who is presenting her first published book: Fair Stands The Wind. It is a Pride and Prejudice what if that shows Darcy in a very different light. Check the blurb below:

We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company; and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself.

But what if Mr Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other?

Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. Meet Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.

What do you think? Will Darcy’s personality change much? Why does he need to provide for a sister if he is the second son? Is Mrs Bennet even more desperate than in Jane Austen’s book? Is Captain Darcy more gorgeous than Captain Wentworth? 😛 Well… I will stop the teasing now with that last question.

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Catherine Lodge

Catherine Lodge is a semi-retired lawyer and lecturer, living in Yorkshire–a part of the UK even more beautiful than Derbyshire. One of five daughters, although by birth order regrettably the Jane, she found 19th Century literature early in her teens and never looked back–even if that meant her school essays kept coming back with “archaic!” written in the margin next to some of her favourite words. She still thinks that “bruited” is a much nicer word than “rumoured.”Catherine Lodge

After years of drafting leases and pleadings, she finally started to write for fun in her forties and has never stopped since. Much of this will never see the light of day, having been fed to the digital equivalent of a roaring bonfire, but Fair Stands the Wind is the first book she thinks worthy of public attention.

She spends her day fixing computer problems for friends and family, singing in her local choir, and avoiding the ironing.

Follow her on: Facebook or send her an Email

Apart from introducing her book, Catherine is kindly sharing a character interview that I believe you will enjoy much. Some of the characters on her book are in The Jeremy Kyle Show. It is a very amusing and a great idea to present this character of the 19th century. Enjoy!

Announcer: And now on the Stuck at Home in the Afternoon Network: The Jeremy Kyle Show

The audience variously cheers, applauds and boos. They have been sat in the studio for three hours and have already sat through one happy episode where they got to abuse a spendthrift Baronet and his snooty oldest daughter.

Kyle oozes onto the stage.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, today we have with us Mrs Thomas Bennet of Longbourn in the Country of Herefordshire. Fanny, (may I call you Fanny?) welcome to the Jeremy Kyle Show.”

(Audience boos enthusiastically.)

“Now, now, no need for that. Fanny has come here to ask for our help with one of her daughters, isn’t that right, Fanny?”

Mrs Bennet, fanning herself vigorously. “Yes, Mr Kyle, For if you do not help us, I am sure I do not know what we shall do. With my poor Mr Bennet gone and that wicked girl entirely refusing to do as I tell her, we shall all be in the hedgerows in a wink of an eye. Not that I get many winks, the nights I’ve lain away, Mr Kyle, you can have no idea of, no one knows my sufferings but me.”

Audience, warily, they’re still not sure about her. “Aaaah.”

“So tell us all about it, Fanny.”

“Mr Kyle, that child will be the death of me, I am sure. Mr Collins, my husband’s heir you know, has already been sniffing around the house counting the teaspoons and deciding what to do with us all. I just do not know what has got into the girl. It is a perfect match for her, and it’s not as though the gentleman is hideous or anything, he’s perfectly amiable and £5,000 a year! And she swears she will not see him again, and I know he was so close to proposing too. She swears it is all my fault as though I know nothing at all. I married a gentleman, I’ll have you know, with an estate and £2,000 a year and everything handsome about him. But oh no, I do not know how to conduct myself, if you please.”

“We’d better have the young lady out, then. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Jane Bennet”

Audience starts to boo, gets a good look at Jane and trails into silence.

“Oh Mama, how could you?” Jane is mortified and inclined to hide her face in her hands.

“Don’t you ‘Oh Mama’ me, you ….you…you…serpent’s tooth. What do you mean by it? There’s Mr Bingley, mooning around after you with his great cow-eyes and you refuse to receive him. It is beyond everything!”

“But mama, how can I look him in the face after what you did?”

“What I did? All I did was look out for the family’s credit. It is all very well my brother Gardiner telling me I need to economise, but he hasn’t got half the country watching to see if we start acting like paupers. I have other daughters I need to dispose of , you know, and then I can die happy knowing my duty is done.”

Jane, getting uncharacteristically annoyed. “I fail to see what spending all that money on a new upstairs carpet has to do with disposing of your daughters. You were just bored and wanted to buy something!”

Audience, warming up, this is more like it. “Oooooh.”

“You see how I am treated, Mr Kyle. It was quite bad enough with her sister, Lizzy. Turning her nose up at Mr Collins indeed. We could have stayed at Longbourn forever and ever but oh no….. It’s all of a piece. No one knows how I am tried. Five daughters, would you believe, Mr Kyle, five daughters and I’ve devoted my life to those girls, to making sure they are all respectably established and what are my thanks for a mother’s devotion?”

Kyle springs the trap. “So, you’ve been a good mother then, Fanny?”

“None better, sir.”

“And you’ve brought your daughters up well?”

“As well as I could on my own, for my poor dear Bennet took no interest in any of them but Lizzy and that only served to make her saucy!”

“We’ll see about that.” Kyle turns to look back stage. “Come out Miss Lydia Bennet.”

Lydia bounces on stage followed by an unwillingly amused Mr Gardiner. “Oh Ma, you’ve got to let me come home, Uncle Gardiner is being perfectly horrid.” Fanny and Lydia embrace.

“So, what do you say to that, Mr Gardiner?”

“Perfectly horrid in this case consists of stopping her sneaking out of the house to meet a young man,”

Audience, getting into the swing of things variously shout out. “Shame!” “Spoilsport!” and several other things not suitable to the delicate ears of my readers.

“What do you say to that, eh Fanny?”

“Well to be sure it was very wrong of her. Lydia, was he particularly good-looking?”

“Even better than Captain Darcy!”

Audience, having read the book, storm the stage and the show develops into a fist fight, security swarm the crowd and at the back, Jeremy Kyle can be seen smiling in satisfaction. Until Mr Gardiner, channelling the hopes of a large proportion of the British population, punches him firmly on the nose.

Well, Lydia has to be always controversial!!

If you have liked this introduction of the book with such a great interview, do not forget to visit the other stops of the blog. By the way, the book will be very soon available to be bought on Amazon US and UK, so check it!

Blog Tour Schedule

08/30 Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post or Vignette, GA

08/31 My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, GA

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09/01 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Excerpt, GA

09/02 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

09/03 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA

09/04 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Vignette

09/05 Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, GA

09/06 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Vignette, Giveaway

09/07 From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA

09/08 So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

09/09 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, GA

09/10 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt, GA

09/11 My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

09/12 Just Jane 1813; Review, GA

Time To Give Away

Catherine Lodge is giving away ebooks of Fair Stands The Wind and it is very easy for you to participate. Read the terms and conditions below and click here to enter.

Terms and Conditions:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of Fair Stands the Wind by Catherine Lodge. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

Winner of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, annotated by Sophie Turner

First of all, a big apology for taking so long to show the winner of the annotated version of Pride and Prejudice.

I have used random.org (as usual) and here you have the result with the winner:

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Congratulations Katherine Schmitt!! Please, contact me as soon as possible with your email address in order to receive your prize. As it has taken me so long to announce a winner, Katherine, you have until the 15th September to contact me. You can pass me your email commenting on this post or emailing me on myvicesandweaknesses@gmail.com

Winner of “When We Are Married” by Caitlin Williams

and the winner is…

wait wait! First of all I want to thank you for commenting and sharing my stop in the Blog Tour of When we are married by Caitlin Williams. I hope all of you read it and enjoy it because it is worth it!

Without further ado, here you have the result of the randomiser that I have done with random.org:

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Vesper, you are the winner! I will email Claudine right now and sooner than later, you will enjoy this book!!

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If you are not Vesper, you can always buy this great book, below you have a few links that you could use:

Amazon UK Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)

It is also available through Kindle Unlimited.